From Africa showcases a number of the continent’s finest design work

Art and design publisher Counter-Print has released From Africa, the seventh book in its popular From series, which has so far brought us work from Japan, Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, Switzerland and South Korea. Each book is a celebration of the design culture belonging to the different countries and regions.

Moving between fashion, illustration, lettering, book design and more, readers are presented with a beautifully curated selection of projects, featuring the artists, studios and agencies that are making some of the continent’s most thoughtful and aesthetically pleasing work. Many of the projects draw inspiration from traditional forms of African art and design, showcasing the bold colours and patterns that have long been a part of its history.

The book emphasises Africa’s cultural diversity, and huge mix of design influences. As Counter-Print co-founder Jon Dowling writes in the book’s intro, “its many, diverse countries are sources of vibrant design and African influences are seen in art and culture around the world. However, there is no one ‘African style’ and we should refrain from generalising a continent of such vast scale.”

In his introduction, Dowling also comments on the tendency to stereotype the stories of the continent, which extends to its design output which has too often been represented by “ethnic prints, earthy colours and textures”.

In place of this, the book showcases a wide range of creatives – who are reinterpreting historical styles, sharing messages of hope, and contributing to key design and social justice initiatives.

From Africa is published by Counter-Print; counter-print.co.uk


COMMENTS